Grapes at Domaine Leduc-Frouin

ripening grapes in the Loire

ripening grapes in the Loire




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Dunkerque Carnival

Dunkerque (62 Pas de Calais, Hauts de France) manages to brighten up the miserable northern French winter with its annual Carnival on numerous dates between 6 January –  8 April 2018

dunkerque carnaval posterThe most famous, the nosiest, the most mental, but also the oldest, is the Dunkerque Carnival. For weeks on end, groups called fisherbands take the measure of each other, confront each other with sarabands and songs, disperse and liven up the town, and finally come together in one huge choir to celebrate their sailors, honour Jean Bart, and claim, with body and voice, their herrings thrown from the top of the belfry.
If you’ve never done Carnival here, you’ve never seen a real carnival !

With its climax on Shrove Tuesday (13 February 2018)– or Mardi Gras – Dunkerque Carnival has its roots in the secular festivities which took place as local fishermen prepared to leave their families and sail to the fishing grounds off Iceland, sometimes never to return.

After two days of costumed parades, ‘Trois Glorieuses’ (11-12 February 2018) is now the high point of celebrations which are marked by balls that take place all along this coastal community from long before this iconic Tuesday until long after.

For more info see  http://carnaval-de-dunkerque.info/

Self-catering apartments in Dunkerque

Self-catering apartments in Dunkerque

Of course Dunkerque is directly connected from Dover with DFDS Ferries – but beware that the ferry port (near Loon-Plage) is some 18km from the town centre

The town of Dunkirk has announced that all of its buses would be free of charge from September 2018.

hotels, B&Bs and self-catering apartments in and near Dunkerque e.g. the self-catering apartments at All Suites Appart Hotel, Dunkerque on the waterfront.

Dunkirk is the northernmost town in France and is just six miles from the border with Belgium. Its close links with the neighbouring country are even evident in its name which comes from the Flemish words for “dune” and “church”.

It also has the third largest port in France, after Le Havre and Marseilles and it’s this, as well as its position, that made it such an important part of the Second World War.

Today  trips to Dunkirk reward the visitor in so many ways. For example there is stunning scenery along the coastline, as well as long sandy beaches, and although much of the town centre was destroyed in the war and subsequently rebuilt old parts do remain. For example the magnificent 58 metre belfry dates back to 1440 – and it’s also where you’ll find all the Dunkirk tourist information you could need.

Cuisine plays as important a role as it does in the rest of France and you’ll also find a distinctive Flemish influence. For example one of the most popular dishes is coq à la bière, chicken in a creamy beer sauce. (DFDS)